15 U.S. Code § 45b - Consumer review protection
The term “covered communication” means a written, oral, or pictorial review, performance assessment of, or other similar analysis of, including by electronic means, the goods, services, or conduct of a person by an individual who is party to a form contract with respect to which such person is also a party.
It shall be unlawful for a person to offer a form contract containing a provision described as void in subsection (b).
A violation of subsection (c) by a person with respect to which the Commission is empowered under section 5(a)(2) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45(a)(2)) shall be treated as a violation of a rule defining an unfair or deceptive act or practice prescribed under section 18(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 57a(a)(1)(B)).
The Commission shall enforce this section in the same manner, by the same means, and with the same jurisdiction, powers, and duties as though all applicable terms and provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.) were incorporated into and made a part of this Act.
Any person who violates this section shall be subject to the penalties and entitled to the privileges and immunities provided in the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.).
Subject to paragraph (2), in any case in which the attorney general of a State has reason to believe that an interest of the residents of the State has been or is threatened or adversely affected by the engagement of any person subject to subsection (c) in a practice that violates such subsection, the attorney general of the State may, as parens patriae, bring a civil action on behalf of the residents of the State in an appropriate district court of the United States to obtain appropriate relief.
Except as provided in clause (iii), the attorney general of a State shall notify the Commission in writing that the attorney general intends to bring a civil action under paragraph (1) before initiating the civil action against a person described in subsection (d)(1).
The notification required by clause (i) with respect to a civil action shall include a copy of the complaint to be filed to initiate the civil action.
Nothing in this subsection may be construed to prevent the attorney general of a State from exercising the powers conferred on the attorney general by the laws of the State to conduct investigations, to administer oaths or affirmations, or to compel the attendance of witnesses or the production of documentary or other evidence.
If the Federal Trade Commission institutes a civil action or an administrative action with respect to a violation of subsection (c), the attorney general of a State may not, during the pendency of such action, bring a civil action under paragraph (1) against any defendant named in the complaint of the Commission for the violation with respect to which the Commission instituted such action.
In addition to civil actions brought by attorneys general under paragraph (1), any other consumer protection officer of a State who is authorized by the State to do so may bring a civil action under paragraph (1), subject to the same requirements and limitations that apply under this subsection to civil actions brought by attorneys general.
Not later than 60 days after December 14, 2016, the Commission shall commence conducting education and outreach that provides businesses with non-binding best practices for compliance with this Act.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect any cause of action brought by a person that exists or may exist under State law.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit, impair, or supersede the operation of the Federal Trade Commission Act [15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.] or any other provision of Federal law.
The Federal Trade Commission Act, referred to in subsecs. (d)(2) and (h), is act Sept. 26, 1914, ch. 311, 38 Stat. 717, which is classified generally to this subchapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 58 of this title and Tables.
This Act, referred to in subsecs. (d)(2)(A) and (f), is Pub. L. 114–258, Dec. 14, 2016, 130 Stat. 1355, known as the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016, which enacted this section and provisions set out as a note under section 58 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 2016 Amendment note set out under section 58 of this title and Tables.
Section was enacted as part of the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016, and not as part of the Federal Trade Commission Act which comprises this subchapter.
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